The side-effects of speaking one’s mind

The one article I was waiting for!

Favourite line:
Nothing sums up this whole ridiculous “controversy” better than a sad little joke floating around, where a doctor says, “There is pollution in the city. Therefore your lungs…” And Anupam Kher cuts in angrily, “How dare you! This city has given you job, name, fame. How can you call it polluted? You traitor!!!” Moral of the story? Do not speak your mind in public. Be diplomatic, wave, sign autographs, keep smiling.

Baradwaj Rangan

Why should everyone, including Aamir Khan, say the most perfectly worded, politically correct, lawyer-vetted things in public, even if they may think otherwise privately?

Before Aamir Khan, there was Kamal Haasan. Frustrated by forces that were preventing the release of his mega-budget production Vishwarooopam in Tamil Nadu, the actor said he was contemplating leaving the state, the country even, and settling down someplace more secular. The announcement was picked up by some sections of the media – not all, understandably. After all, this was but a Tamil actor, a Tamil movie. When even the devastating floods in Tamil Nadu have received but a drizzle of national coverage, how can the release of a film that will be seen mostly by south Indians be of national importance? This isn’t cynicism. This is truth. Because when Aamir Khan made a similar statement – about insecurity, about fear, about his wife wondering…

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SPECTRE: Movie Review

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When you go to see a James Bond movie, you don’t get to ask certain questions. Like, how is it that props like sofas and nets are always present at the right spots to break his fall from heights? Or, why are the roads in Rome so vacant when our hero is in a car-chase but filled with traffic just moments after? Or even, why does Bond have to bed every woman that comes his way?

This is not to say that the Bond movies have always been about high-IQ and logic, and we should be able to let all of these remarks slide. Because the man in question – James Bond – is above all of this, and we can forgive little plot slips as long as we are entertained. And he is entertained. So scratch my last question, with all the stress and hard-work he puts himself through, it’s only natural to need to have a release once in a while. Right? Right?

Well, even with all of the glitz and the glamour and the adrenaline-pumping action, Spectre still doesn’t rise up as a worthy installment in the franchise. And certainly not a worthy successor to the amazement that was Skyfall. Halfway through the movie, I realized that I had seen this movie before in countless forms. The screen play was getting so generic and predictable, I actually yawned. And not just that, the script is just so similar to the recent Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation that I seriously wonder how nobody saw it. In any case, what pulls the movie down is the lethargic writing. There is nothing that screams creative or innovative in the script, and even though the movie might leave you oddly satisfied at the experience, it never gives you the high.

There’s one thing I liked most in Skyfall and that’s the introduction of a humane angle to Bond. Putting him through emotional tight spaces that he’s not accustomed to. Thankfully, that endeavour continues in Spectre as well and we get an inkling of his past through the antagonist (Christoph Waltz playing Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the mastermind behind Spectre), who I should say was menacing, but not enough. The one to beat is Andrew Scott (playing Max Denbigh, a vile British Government official), whose creepy smile is something not very easy to get over. (If you didn’t know, he’s the same guy who plays Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock)

The rest of the cast including Daniel Craig, of course, are spectacular in their respective roles and make the movie eminently watchable. Lea Seydoux as Dr. Madeline Swann, the Bond girl this time is interesting in that she challenges James and makes him see a different side to himself. And she also proves to be quite resourceful herself, even saving Bond’s ass in one fight. The other highlight is the thumping score by Thomas Newman, which the movie never lets go.

Spectre starts off stunningly with a massively mounted opening sequence in Mexico City, a MacGuffin for our Bond. But it never really takes off from there and insists on staying content with being just-another-Bond-movie. You do get some thrills and a world tour, but there’s nothing to make you want to sit through the movie again.

The wars we wage

When we waged our first war

It was over necessity

To acquire what we did not possess

But did we stop there? Not a chance,

because we have a tendency to be greedy

and a desire to see ourselves on a pedestal

So we waged more wars,

this time over land and territory

No matter the lives lost

No matter the broken hearts

Because, in the end, all that mattered to us

was Victory and Dominion.

The price we paid, always in blood.

Years passed, we became more civilized

But more harmonious?

Now we fight over conflict of thought

Because that’s all there is left to fight over

Some wars are small, you debating over whether

you agree with your neighbours’ lifestyle choices

But some wars are devastating, the blood price

always being a means to an end, willing even.

But if life teaches us anything, it’s only this

To become better as a humanity, all we need

is to ‘make peace’ and ‘let live’

But why oh why is that so hard to realize.


 

Am I in Chennai or Cherrapunji?

Remember those days when you wake up and hear the rain outside? When it’s all cold and gloomy and perfect, the droplets of rain sliding down your window and the therapeutic pitter-patter lulling you into sleep. So you go back to sleep and wake up later only to realize its freakin’ 2 o’clock in the afternoon!! Yea, today was one of those days.

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From my window. I realized it’s impossible to capture rain with a smartphone.

My mind is kinda in a trance and not really in a productive mood, so I’ve decided to just lie on my bed the whole day and do some catching up on the TV shows I’ve missed. I’ve got three seasons of Modern Family, one season of Da Vinci’s Demons, and of course House Of Cards has been just lying there all the time waiting to be watched. By the way, if you have been living under a rock like me and haven’t got around to watching Modern Family yet, you totally should! I think I’ve found my next favorite comedy after Friends.

Going out today is not even an option, as the roads have turned into canals. Think Venice, only uglier. Apparently Chennai is pretty hardly hit by the rains and a lot of inland lakes are over flowing their banks, and also transportation is disrupted with several trains and flights cancelled. All because of a little depression in the Bay of Bengal.

Anyhoo, I was prepared for this rain-pocalypse so I’ve got ample food in my room to last a whole day. I’ve also had the forethought to stock up on watermelon lollipops, but for some weird reason they’re tasting sour today. I think the rain is playing with my taste buds.

So, yep. That’s me for today I suppose. *And I just realized that I haven’t brushed my teeth yet. Oh well.

Stats-istics

stats

What? I’m not supposed to get a little conceited once in a while? 🙂

I’m a mere mortal and a stat-head after all! And this almost never happens. But looks like my music review of Tamasha is a hit with Google! 🙂 I know that because 70% of my traffic today was driven by search engines. Though Google encrypts the keywords so WordPress can’t exactly tell you what they searched for!

Anyway, you noticed how I cut out the actual figures? Yea, that’s an insider secret 😛

Udayology is now on Twitter

Why? You ask.

And I will reply, “Yours is a question with many possible answers.” 😛

Anyway, in the off-chance that you’re indeed interested to follow me, the handle couldn’t have been simpler: @Udayology.

Apart from links to all the blog posts, I will also be sharing any interesting tid-bits I find online so be sure to hit me up!

Uday

Marriage is Not An Accomplishment

Because this needed to be said. Period.

In my country too, people place a lot of emphasis on marriage and how it’s a mandatory step that’s supposed to happen within a particular time. But all I say is this, don’t marry because you have to, marry because you want to.

Beyond Beirut

I know people who have spent their whole lives dreaming of their wedding. To them, marriage was always the ultimate goal: their way of saying they made it in the world and that they became a grown-up. They would spend hours talking about nothing other than landing the perfect man to take them away from the lives they were living in their parents’ homes.

And once they did in fact get married, it was like they got a complete personality transplant. Sadly, some of these super bright young women became muted, and their once vibrant personalities, secondary to those of their husbands.

Seeing that happen in front of my eyes has indeed made me fearful that society will only look at me as Ahmad’s wife, not as my own person with a skill set and capabilities.

But my fears have already been too well-documented and I have spent too much…

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I’ve been nominated for THREE WordPress Awards!!! Woohoo!! :) :)

Well, this is completely crazy. 

In a span of two weeks, I have been nominated for three awards here on WordPress!!  As a complete noob here, I find it extremely overwhelming to be even considered for such honor. I feel blessed to be around such an amazing community of bloggers like ya’ll! Keep on rockin’!

So without further ado, here are the awards that I have been nominated for!! 😀wordpress-awards

What? Me? Seriously?

Now I know I put myself in a fix by putting all three of them in a single blog post, as they do seem to have different rules but I’m gonna give it a try anyway. (Note to self: Procrastination never helps! Me: Ya I know, I’ll mull over it tomorrow! )

First off, the Versatile Blogger award is from the incredibly talented Abeeha who blogs over at Couch Potahto. Her posts are straight from the heart (she’s got a beautiful one) and never fail to brighten up my day. You should definitely follow her! But who am I kidding? She’s already so famous around here that she doesn’t need any more publicity 🙂

The second nomination, The Creative Blogger is from the intriguing Leela of The Girl Next Blog. Brilliance and wit, a killer combination that you’ll find in each of her posts. And I think she describes herself better than anyone! Just check out her About page and you’ll know 🙂

The third one, Liebster Award is from Mary who runs the wonderful Bali Info Blog. As you can notice from the name, she exclusively writes about her life and her musings on Bali, a beautiful country that I never knew much about. So, if you’re planning to visit or even if not, I strongly suggest you check out her blog as it gives you an amazing insight into a part of the world that you never think much of.

So there you go, three nominations from three amazing people. My deepest thanks to you guys, I feel honored!

I’m supposed to nominate 10 blogs each for each of the awards but I don’t really know those many blogs in the first place so I’m going to nominate 10 blogs overall. Here I go-

Versatile Blogger:

  1. Ainswordly
  2. Girl Next Blog

Creative Blogger:

  1. The Blog of Karthi 🙂
  2. Beyond Beirut
  3. Couch Potahto
  4. Bali Info Blog
  5. DELIGHT IN YOUR GARDEN

Liebster Award:

  1. icecoffeecouture
  2. confusedandcrazilycurious
  3. Threads

The above are all the blogs I enjoy reading on a daily basis and you should definitely check them out!!

The rules for the awards are as below –

Versatile Blogger & Creative Blogger have the same rules which are:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award, and include a link to their blog.
  • Next, select 10-15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 10-15 bloggers for the Award — you may include a link to this site.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things/facts about yourself.

Here are the rules for Liebster award:

  • Each nominee must have under 200 followers
  • Thank and link to the nominating blog
  • Answer their 10 questions and propose 10 new ones for your nominees
  • Nominate 10 blogs and tell them that they’ve been nominated
  • Write a post containing the questions
  • Include these rules in the post

Now, onto the 7 random facts about me:

  1. I’m a MASSIVE fan of everything Harry Potter!! It was the first book I ever read and something that blew my mind away as it was nothing unlike anything I’ve experienced before. And yes, I was so crazily in love with the magical world that I created an imaginary story in my head about a Wizarding School based in India. I had even thought up the house names, the school history, the classes, professors and all!! I still have no idea who my protagonists are, though 😛
  2. I hate to watch local dubbed versions of English movies and TV programs. I understand the intent, to make them accessible to the non-English speaking population of the country but I feel it takes away the entire experience. To only hear a translation of what is actually being said.
  3. I am big fan of The Games Of Thrones books. TV Show? Ummm not so much.  I know you’re probably calling it blasphemous but it is what it is. I find the books richer and more fulfilling whereas the TV show just glosses over most of the stuff. The actors are all AMAZING, mind you, but the thing is that GRRM’s writing is so descriptive that I already have a version of the happenings in my brain. And I don’t really need to watch the same stuff again. Add to it the fact that they change stuff from the books! It’s hard enough to keep track of one version of the story.
  4. I can literally survive on very less sleep. And food, too. Always the night owl, I find that my mind is more active around midnight, after every one has gone to sleep. (I promise I’m not a ghost :P) I probably turned this way as I need my peace and quiet to focus. Noise is like a Cruciatus curse to me.
  5. I love going to movies alone! I don’t watch movies for “entertainment” or “fun”, I can get that elsewhere. I love films that stimulate me, challenge me, or which transport me into a different world. So yes, I’ve been known to like some very esoteric ones. And if you are the kind of person who loves to hoot, comment incessantly or remark loudly while watching a movie, I’ll literally hate you!
  6. I make killer Banana Cakes! Well they’re so easy to make that I’m sure everyone makes killer Banana Cakes. 🙂 But it’s such joy, to bake a delicious treat in one hour tops.
  7. Beaches are my absolute favourite places on earth. There’s something very therapeutic in the rustle of the waves that soothes my mind. And watching the Sun rise or set on the beach? Divine.

And here are my responses to Mary’s Questions:

1. Why did you start your blog?

Writing is something that gives me a lot of personal satisfaction. This blog was started in an attempt to keep that passion intact and to keep the creative juices flowing! 🙂

2. Who inspires you?

I can’t name a single person, as I draw inspiration from a lot of people from a lot of different fields. But to put it simply, people who break conventions and do things differently are the ones who inspire me most.

3. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

I don’t really know, to be honest. But hopefully, I would have become a successful author and traveling the world with my family! 😀 A man can dream!

4.What book are you reading right now?

Cult of Chaos. It’s a supernatural/fantasy thriller set in India that features a female tantrist (the close approximation would be a witch) as the protagonist. The book imagines up an alternate New Delhi where supernaturals and humans co-exist but there’s an ancient cult that’s threatening to re-surface and our heroine has to stop it!!

5. What is your all time favorite movie?

OMG this is too difficult!! But if you put a gun to my head, I’ll probably say Before Sunrise. It may not be the greatest movie of all time but I just love how the movie is all about what happens in the span of a single night between two strangers. They just walk around and talk. A lot of talk, actually. But that’s where the brilliance lies.

6. If you could choose anywhere in the world, where would you choose to live, and why?

Probably somewhere in the Swiss Alps. In a nice house that’s surrounded by mountains. The serenity, the beauty – it all gets to me so much!

7. Do you speak any foreign languages?

Sadly no 😦 But I do have a basic knowledge of French, thanks to the two years I took it up as second language, but I’m still learning to become fluent one day.

8. Do you have any hidden talents?

Hmm, not unless you count the fact that I can write in reverse à la Da Vinci, but with my right hand.

9. What career would you choose if you had a free choice?

A travel journalist! Or a food journalist 🙂

10. Whats your favorite type of music?

Acoustic. Alt-Rock.

11. Whats your favorite type of food?

Indian, of course! I need my spices! My next favourite is Italian. Love the warmth of that cuisine.

Note: Liebster award nominees can answer the same questions as above as I love these! 🙂